Tag Archives: heart

the noise of insanity.

And there are these days where I feel the walls of my mind falling apart among themselves in silent clamor. I hear them crumbling and cracking within my head as they struggle for space within to call their own. I push them, and push them again far away from the stairs to my heart. I will not open that straining door to those blackened blocks of fear, of panic, of insecurity and failure.

Life and her grace continue to provide me with newer and brighter mornings to find hope in every hopeless situation. It lays at my feet the capacity to build newer and better relationships. I must capture all the fleeting frantic sticky moments of this day and force them… no, cradle them within my soul and mortar those tumbling chunks of insanity within.

I WILL succeed today. I WILL once again, be able to detour that which is not welcome in my world. I WILL breathe in the perfect peace and fill my lungs with inhaled freedom. I will squeeze my eyes shut harder still to deny the light of any cruelty on this day as this gloriously exhaustive struggle of staying sane remains.

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Last Breath.

And as the silence drew closer still

As if suffocation of spirit wasn’t enough

As if her pain racked body wasn’t enough

Her cracked lips parted

And a whisper struggled from the deepest depth of her heart

To take its place among the stale air around her face

As if pushing her gently from life’s ledge wasn’t enough

As if letting her drug filled eyes blink away saltless tears wasn’t enough

The cruel watch decided with its ever moving hands

As the whirring of machines still ticked

Compassion might win this time

And allow her to sing the finale that every person must know

By letting her parched note tumble into

The soft abyss of her final slumber

Of the beginning

Of her peace.

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just a taste.

Yesterday, as I was taking advantage of the outstanding weather while enjoying my 3 mile brisk walk in the park, I was trying to think of a concept to write about later in the day using “taste.” I wanted to use metaphors that included and fused the power of the senses to bring about my love for the “flavor of tasting the day.” I know that might sound odd, but I truly enjoy food. Actually, I enjoy meals. I love the process of creating culinary atmospheres that are filled with conversation, laughter, good wine and backed with some amazing music.

I never DID author a piece about tasting the day. Just as I sat down on the sofa to get started on producing something about how the sky was mixed with clouds like a wine based rue…

I felt the earth move.

Literally, I could see and feel the condo vibrating and undulating under me. It lasted a brief ten seconds or so, but it was a very unusual sensation. As I looked at the cat for some sort of visual on her take of the experience, I saw no reaction from her as she continued to swat at a honey bee on the porch. I initially thought that perhaps my blood sugar was out of whack, or maybe I was experiencing an unusual heart palpitation.

Then I watched as several Face Book statuses began rolling like the ground beneath me. “Did anyone feel that??” “Earthquake reported at 5.8, centered in VA!” “Cell phones are jammed!”

I was not crazy. This time.

Needless to say, the activity and the buzz from this rare East Coast occurrence put a slight damper on my writing project for the day.

So I compensated. I played chef.

Below are photos of what I now fondly refer to as my “Quake Concoctions.” Enjoy.

"Earth Topplers?" Home made olive oil and fresh garlic toastettes, topped with plum tomato, sweet corn from the cob, spicy shrimp, fresh chopped basil and shaved Parmesian.

 

"Richter Scale Skewers?" Fresh sun-dried tomato and basil chicken sausage, skewered with local squash, Vadelia onion and red peppers on a bed of brown rice and spicy Thai sauce.

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this is your life.

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Filed under Life...

the gift.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written. Almost too long… but the mind has settled, the heart has slowed, the breathing has grown patterned once again and the fingers want to caress the keys from the soul’s bright spirit today.

I haven’t written lately because Daryl and I have been way too busy enjoying a summer FILLED with garden parties and iced teas, late night dancing ‘til dawn, orgies loaded with lube and Liza and dinners in Paris and cocktails in Amsterdam! Who the fuck am I kidding. I had no words to share. Period.

Many things have happened in the lives of Salt n’ Peppah in the past few months. Many things. We are on a twisted but determined path of continued growth as we look forward to a future filled with trials, tribulations, more challenges and… more lube and much less Liza.

One of the changes that we are looking forward to with great anticipation, is the birth of a grandchild in February 2012 (due date of 2/29 – Leap Year and SO appropriate). Ashley and Quintin told us (and my Mom) of their impending kidlet several weeks ago via a SKYPE conversation from Queenstown, New Zealand. Looking back in retrospect, I believe Daryl and I “like-totally” squealed as if we were two 12 year old girls at a Justin Bieber concert. Like a couple of scientists, we studied a blurry black and white ultrasound that Ashley held up to the monitor while she explained technically that our grandchild currently had a tail. Once our shrieking died down to a couple of very wide grins, the kids assured us that they were holding up well and are planning on heading back home to our area of the world toward Thanksgiving of this year. Sigh.

We were THE FIRST family members that the kids shared their news with (I found out later in the conversation, that we were considered the easy “dry-run.”) and we were told specifically (read: threatened) NOT to post on Face Book or my blog until they had shared their news with other family members and several friends.

We are VERY good at keeping secrets. Daryl and I didn’t tell a SOUL that we knew that had ANY link to Face Book or a computer. We told the mailman. We told one of the Mexican landscapers (who I think believes we were asking him to turn off his weedwacker). We told a lady in the checkout line of the ACME while she was looking at a People magazine with some pregnant model on the cover, and I actually told a design customer of mine who didn’t realize I WAS married to a woman several years ago and that I had three grown children at all, as she eyed me up and down skeptically while blurting, “No effin’ way you homo.”.

Daryl is as ecstatic as a show tune writer on an episode of GLEE. He is looking forward to a grandbaby… A LOT. He has always considered my children like his own. He has followed them with me through many things in the short seven year period that he’s known them. He’s been a very active part in birthdays, graduations, family game nights, holidays, dinners as well as my son’s difficult battle with drug addiction. They find Daryl adorable, caring, comedic and a very welcome member of our ever growing dis-functionally functional family.

It’s been several locked lipped weeks of laptop keyboard silence and I’ve had plenty of time to reflect and ponder on how “I” feel about being a grandparent for the first time. The age thing doesn’t bother me. You know, that thing where we THINK we’re still in high school and we’re not old enough to be a graaaannnnd parent. Fuck off, I like my AARP membership. I was a pretty good parent when the kids were small, so having a young kid around doesn’t intimidate me at all.

This child will have parents that rival Brad and Angelina with regard to spirit, tree-hugginess, intellect, worldliness, culture and love. One recent afternoon as I was driving home from work on a beautiful back road of Chester County during an unusually striking sunset, I began to tear up out of nowhere thinking about this new life, this new child growing inside MY child! I began to get emotional…

WHAT could I even begin to offer a young child at this stage of the game? Here is one half of a hopefully maturing interracial gay couple who basically lives from paycheck to paycheck in a job that pay the bills but is in no means what I aspire to be. I hang out with my guy when our mixed up work schedules allow with NEVER a full day off together unless I call out sick or plan way in advance. I don’t travel the world. My car is not a “Beemer,” and my suits aren’t Armani. So I wondered… what CAN I offer this child…

Then today… I read with much surprise and even more humility, this dedication to me from a fellow “blogster” whom I have known briefly in blog months (we write a lot of emotional stuff, so a month in the blogosphere is like a year or two in the real world). She, like I, continues to struggle with clinical depression on occasion and she has been “pourin’ her cotton pickin’ heart out” on her blog about dealing with the blackness, the loneliness and the strangling grip that this disease can have on people.

I believe she is an incredible writer and has a way of pulling out all the stops when describing the effects that this debilitating disease can have. I commented to her that I wanted to thank her for just being who she is. I told her she is a gift. I believe she IS.

That’s when it hit me about what I can offer this newest member of my growing insanely diverse family. The gift of truth. The gift of practicing non judgement. The gift of a world with less discrimination. I can not only speak about the amazing positive impacts of diversity but I (with the help of Daryl) can actually SHOW this youngster what it means to be honest with one’s self and what it means to be real with others. To not be as concerned with whether its important to wear the right designer dress or play in the dirt with American made trucks, as much as how important is to be a good person first… to care, respect and love whomever you want, whenever you want.

I personally, cannot wait!

(Please take a few moments to read PissyKittysLitterBox blog… she really is quite talented!)

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Stonewall.

my photo of "Stonewall"

Daryl and I were here in April of this year. It was a much more subdued visit than what transpired at this same location yesterday.

It was a chilly, rainy early afternoon as we searched the winding, uneven streets of New York’s west village for a little bar called the Stonewall Inn. Daryl and some wonderful lesbian friends of ours jumping the clogged drain puddles and dodging the vicious splashes of speeding taxicabs with umbrellas in hand as we came upon this tiny brick place in a city of tall, thick concrete. A glowing orange neon sign greeted us into the day.

It was much smaller than I expected. I remember the first time I saw the “Cheers” bar in Boston I was underwhelmed at its small size. I expected it to be larger than life itself… filled with those folks from the TV show singing songs while Sam and Diane argued flirtatiously in a corner. I was disappointed then, but not today.

The Stonewall Inn was barely open this early afternoon. “The gays” typically don’t begin bar hopping until much later in the early evening, so the bar was deserted, except for a short little fire plug bartender named typically, Joe. He welcomed us in immediately as if desperate for company on this miserable Saturday afternoon. Folding our dripping umbrellas and leaving them by the front door, I looked around. You could smell the age and the mustiness of this dark and dingy place. A thick painted tin ceiling and dark poster filled walls hugged us as small tables were tossed about a small elevated “stage” hardly protected by a single red velvet rope. Black and white photos of the now famous “Stonewall Riots” were haphazardly placed around on the deep paneled walls of this establishment. Framed newspaper and magazine clippings of history were draped behind the bar. Somehow the light of day made this bar look like me when I wake up in the morning. Raw and exposed. Pale and puffy. Vulnerable yet somehow as cozy as the thick fleece robe I throw on to ward off the early morning chill.

“What’ll it be?” Joe smiled, as we pulled our heavily shellacked bar stools across the old wooden floor making a wood on wood scraping echo that empty bars tend to make. We looked like a bunch of drowned rats as Joe hooked us up with clean-glassed beverages. He continued shuffling around the place acting as though he had to get ready for some large crowd, punctuated with a chuckle or two about a drag show here a few nights before.

My group of friends sat and listened to Joe’s ipod music playing loud enough over the bar’s worn speaker system to get a foot tapping from Janet Jackson’s “Control.” I continued walking around the bar’s interior, studying the photos on the walls of the Riots of 1969 trying to imagine a world where gays and lesbians had to hide so much of themselves, even in the progressiveness and toleration of New York City. To have to fear for your livelihood, your reputation and in some cases, your life must have been unimaginable to deal with on a daily basis.

Daryl and I attempted to play a game of pool on the Stonewalls well worn and uneven table, its dulled orange felt dusty with cigarette ashes and a cocktail straw. I smiled as I thought that gay men typically aren’t playing the game as a sport anyway, but as more of a way to connect to someone else if only for a moment… or possibly to start a conversation with a future life partner. The pool table eventually ate our cue ball, refused to spit it back out and our game was done. Joe didn’t have the key or the means to fix it.

We chatted and joked with each other and with Joe for another hour or so while finishing up a couple of rounds of cocktails. Daryl purchased two souvenir tee shirts for his sister and Mom, and we moved on. The rain had let up a bit as we headed out into the streets of the Village as the ghosts of men and women past smiled as we all left giggling hand in hand not realizing that in a few months there would be throngs here celebrating another milestone, another victory.

Thank you for your tiring fight, people of this tiny little place called Stonewall. Thank you for your beginning to bring the right of marriage to ALL people to the sidewalks and streets of this city… this state and eventually this country.

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That FIRST Father’s Day after…

Dad on his boat, where he always seemed to be the happiest.

My Dad passed away last year two days after Christmas of heart failure. It was quick and, according to medical professionals, painless. I’m grateful for that and I believe my Dad would be grateful for that as well. He was a very proud hard–working man’s man who would have found it undignified to have withered away slowly and painfully, having to depend on others for his personal care.

It’s still odd that I can’t pick up the phone to wish him a Happy Father’s Day this first year without him. Something I took for granted. He had JUST learned to “text” from his phone. Something I’m sure he learned in order to stay in touch with his granddaughters. We would exchange text messages and I would always joke with him by teaching him to use emoticons and to sign off with “c u soon!” I’d criticize his typos and he’d LOL. I still have that last Holiday text wish on my phone. I still have his number on my phone as well. I just can’t delete it yet, as he may decide to call me someday if the brimstone and fire haven’t melted his phone yet.

I wanted to get a card for him while I was at the mall last week returning a shirt. I just wanted to get a Father’s Day card and send it SOMEwhere… ANYwhere really. I was frustrated with that a bit. I was also annoyed that the mall was decorated for “DAD’s DAY.” Photos and banners EVERYwhere indicating that Dad deserved this tie or that shirt. How could this “holiday” even go on without my Dad? I remember when I was younger and I would be at the mall with my Dad on the very rare occasion that he would go. I would always get so frustrated because he’d “dawdle.” He wasn’t a shopper. He’d walk so damn slow. It frustrated the hell out of me. I miss it now.

I don’t think any of us ever think our Fathers will leave this world really. We think them indestructible. Honestly, later in life, when I realized he was a mere mortal and full of flaws, I came to love him deeply and unconditionally. The funny thing about that was he did the same to me… accepting my own midlife “crisis” of coming out.

I think he’d find comfort in knowing something that Dad’s RARELY if EVER get to hear while living… “Dad, you did a great job with what you were given. I appreciate you and thank you for that.” Say it to YOURS today and as many other days as you can.

I’ll finish this blurb about my Dad with just a few words to describe him. He was a simple man and I think he’d appreciated this.

Flawed. Funny. Proud. Humble. Hard working. Dedicated. Sailor. Protector. Accepting. Quiet. Confident. Silver Hair. Thick glasses. Over-achiever. Annoying. Loved his family. Cash, never credit. Fast cars. Fast boats. Slow boats. Stubborn. And last but not least… he was a DEVOTED Dallas Cowboys fan from the word GO.

Love you Dad. Miss u much!

Your son,

Edwin Leroy Williams, Jr.

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